In this very beautiful and inspiring testimony, Nondas Skopeteas, writer and radio producer, talks about the miracle performed by Saint Paisios with Konstantinos Melitsos, a man suffering from Paralysis with neurological ataxia.
Watch the entire video on St. Porphyrios’ monastery channel: Gus Tsin
For God’s glory and the benefit of souls, I would like to tell you a story, a real story. You can find it in the book “A Tear to Ego” («Δάκρυ στο εγώ» in Greek) which is published by
Kostas Melitsos is the hero, one of the heroes next door as we often call them. He grew up in the neighborhoods of Argos. He was born in the 1960s. A child full of joy who loved to wander around the narrow alleys of Argos, to climb the stairs to the castle of Portokalousa, to Saint Marina, to go to the ancient theatre… He loved this city, he loved wandering around all the time. Sometime, however, this spring of his youth got cloudy all of a sudden… As he was diagnosed with a rare disease, as they then said. “Paralysis with neurological ataxia”, how they termed it. Something which means that from here on down, Kostas could not move at all. Still, he prayed ceaselessly for the miracle to happen and he was a very loved child, a whole city was taking care of her Kostas. One would go in the morning to wake him up, to help him prepare, another to prepare food for him, another to clean him, another to read him, another to give him his treatment. A whole city, a whole neighborhood so to say, a big neighborhood would pass by his house and take care of him. He would pass his time with this wheelchair at the cantor’s place at [the church of] St. John the Forerunner in Argos. But also in Mt. Athos where he wished to be all the time and the fathers, without grumbling, would welcome him and host him. Particularly, in Philotheou monastery, he had his own cell. The fathers there had also made a special ramp for him so he could climb with his wheelchair so that he would not feel like a burden to them. So, he would pray in front of all our “Panagies” (icons of Virgin Mary) in Mt. Athos and Panagia Glykophilousa in Philotheou monastery to intercede so that the miracle would happen and he would be able to stand on his feet like old times when he was young.
Once, he finds himself in the beautiful guesthouse (“archontariki”) of Gregoriou monastery. There in Aplotaria. A kind man approaches him, an incredibly wealthy one, one of those who try “to go through the eye of a needle” [Luke 18:25]. He is very caring, he approaches him with love and offers to pay all expenses for Kostas to go to America and perform a cell transplant procedure. As you understand, Kostas was filled with hope and felt like his prayers might have been heard and the big miracle is about to happen. America, suddenly, turned into a really close destination. A shorter trip, even when compared to the Karyes-Panagouda [two locations in Mt. Athos] one, as he could travel easier to America than to Panagouda [where St. Paisios lived]. We all know how difficult terrain the path to Panagouda is. Still, someone had to give his blessing, to make sure that this endeavor of Kostas going to America for the procedure was blessed. None other was the right person for this than the Saint ascetic of Panagouda, the Saint, elder
Paisios. The elder was notified, and with love told them: “Tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. tell Kostas to wait for me outside the infirmary at the square in Karyes.” The next day, in the morning, Kostas together with a monk accompanying him, father Timotheos, waited for elder Paisios. Saint Paisios, “as if he broke the doors of fog”, there was an unusual fog on that day in Karyes,
He approached, kneeled in front of Kostas and started patting his feet while saying:
“Little legs, little legs, these little legs… how many people they will lead to heaven… My child, my Kostas, stand up so we can take a walk.”
Kostas is shocked… not because of the words of St. Paisios, but because he can feel for the first time after so many years his blood warming…This frozen blood which all these years would not let him make a single move, now starts warming… and with the help of St. Paisios, Kostas stands on his feet and they start walking.
Father Timotheos was there [to verify the miracle], other people were there who, after seeing elder Paisios, had approached [the scene]. Thus, a lot of people become partakers and witnesses of this incredible, supernatural event of Kostas walking. He was crying and glorifying Panagia Glykophilousa all the time during his walk. Saint Paisios was closing his eyes and praying a lot of times [during the walk]. After making a circle while walking, they reach again the wheelchair. St. Paisios helps Kostas sit again in the wheelchair and Kostas feels abruptly his blood freezing again and his whole body being dead again.
He is saddened… reasonably… he starts looking at the people around him… trying to realize whether this was an ectasis, a vision, a dream… He realizes that a miracle has just happened and he tries to understand why he is confined to the wheelchair again. Saint Paisios, without telling him anything, says: “Do not go to America. They are going to make you a ‘guinea-pig’. You will go back to Argos.” Kostas, shocked as he was, looks St. Paisios in his eyes. St. Paisios has kneeled once more and is patting his feet.
Kostas asks: “Why? … you saw me right before … I was walking, I was fine!”
“My child, we took this walk for you to understand how easy it is for God to make you well. However, with patience and by staying in this position, while glorifying God for His plan, [if you only knew] how much your soul benefits… Know that you are constantly in Paradise from this life [already]. Do not fall into despair. God has His plan. He knows why He holds you there.”
“Your soul will benefit, your soul will become holy… and next to you, all these people that help you, they will also win Paradise… with you Kostas, do not despair… have trust in God’s plan. All years here [in this life] are countable, the years there [in Paradise] are not countable. These few years are a small drop in the infinite ocean of eternity. These few years that you will be tested, that you will be in pain …”
He was saying all these things while patting his legs and saying to himself:
“These little legs… how many people they will lead to heaven… You and all those people who will stand by your side to help you as “one of the least of Lord’s brethren”. [Matthew 25:40]
Indeed, so it happened. Kostas went back to his room. He lived a lot more years than the doctors expected. He lived half a century. He fell asleep at 52 years old. The ones that saw him in his last moments spoke of a smile that was painted on his lips. I met him a lot of years later, going to his grave with my brother Panagiotis Galanis who was a brotherly friend of his. He was the one that introduced him to me and gifted me a wonderful picture [of Kostas] which we have published in the book.
Kostas has a melancholic face [in the picture] which testifies his patience and his obedience to the encouragement of Saint Paisios. And we know that many souls which helped him, benefited by their acts and “won” paradise as St. Paisios had said. Now, the hug of Kostas is open… because this was his grief all those years… To be able to open his hug and embrace all those people that offered him help and relief in all the things he suffered. His hug looks now like his “first spring” and is wide open for all of us. Let us commemorate him and let us have his blessings and the ones of Saint Paisios!